By Stelios Orphanides
Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, said that it generated a €2m after tax profit in the first quarter of the year, as much as in the past quarter, compared to €50m in January to March 2016.
Total income dropped in January to March this year a quarterly 4 per cent and an annual 5 per cent to €233m while total expenses rose 9 per cent and 7 per cent to €107m respectively, the bank said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. The drop in revenue of the lender, which in January issued a €250m tier 2 capital bond at a 9.25 per cent rate, was mainly on 3 per cent quarterly decline in net interest income which fell to €156m.
The bank, which completely repaid its central bank emergency funding in January, saw its non-performing loans drop in the first quarter to €10.4bn which accounts for 51.8 per cent of the total from €11bn in December or 54.8 per cent respectively, Bank of Cyprus said. Loans in arrears for more than 90 days fell to €8bn from €8.3m or to 40 per cent from 41.3 per cent.
The bank booked a total of €118m in total provisions and impairments in the first quarter compared to €134m in the past quarter and €68m in the respective quarter of 2016, it said.
The cost to income ratio rose in January to March to 46 per cent from 40 per cent in October to December and 41 per cent in the respective period last year, Bank of Cyprus said. The net interest margin shrank to 3.33 per cent, compared to 3.37 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 3.63 per cent in the respective period last year.
Both net loans and customer deposits rose marginally to €15.7m and €16.3m at the end of March compared to December, the bank said. The transitional common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio dropped marginally to 14.4 per cent in the first quarter compared to the one before while the fully loaded CET1 ratio rose marginally to 14 per cent. Total equity stood at €3.1bn at the end of March.